October 9, 2007

Tassie Devils Are Fighting for Survival
The Canberra Times (Posted by bendigo.yourguide.com.au)
09 Oct 2007
R Beeby
Area: Australia

Loss of genetic diversity is causing the rapid spread of deadly facial tumours among Tasmanian devils, leaving the animals with no immune response to fight the disease, new research reveals. Scientists are predicting Tasmanian devils could become extinct in the wild within five years, given the rate at which the disease has spread across the island in the past decade. Since first reported in north-east Tasmania in 1996, devil facial tumour disease has wiped out 90 per cent of some populations, and there are fears it will spread to disease-free populations in the state's north-west. Sydney University researchers have discovered the facial tumour is a contagious clonal cell line essentially a tissue graft originating from a single source that can be passed between individuals by biting.

"It's a cancer that's transmitted by bites when devils fight over food or mate. We've shown the tumours are genetically identical, so there aren't going to be any natural barriers to the disease. Developing a vaccine is really the best hope of eventually controlling it and ensuring the survival of the species," the head of the university's Australian Wildlife Genomics Group, Katherine Belov said. The research team's findings are published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

State Will Focus Wasting Studies on Bighorn Sheep
The Associated Press (Posted by denverpost.com)
08 Oct 2007
Area: Colorado USA

The Colorado Division of Wildlife may move some of its research on chronic wasting disease from a facility in Fort Collins to a wildlife area near Livermore where it can focus on bighorn sheep. The proposal comes as a 10-year study of the disease in deer, elk and moose nears an end after researchers have developed an understanding of how the disease is transmitted among similar species, Mike Miller, a state senior wildlife veterinarian said. Miller said the state wildlife division lab will look at the disease's effect on bighorn sheep, possibly at a site in Cherokee Park state wildlife area. The DOW lab at the foothills campus of Colorado State University will continue to test tissue samples and infected animals.

Deer-Killing Virus Has Spread East
American Agriculturist - americanagriculturist.com
08 Oct 2007
J Vogel
Area: United States

As reported in October's American Agriculturist, Whitetail losses to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease appeared to be spreading in western Pennsylvania. EHD deaths were already confirmed and mounting in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Last week, we learned that New Jersey and Delaware wildlife officials have confirmed similar outbreaks in those states. As one Delaware farmer told us Friday, "We've got it bad in Delaware. Every time I go out, I see more dead deer."

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife biologists report the animals exhibited EHD symptoms. EHD is a common viral disease contracted from biting midges – gnats or no-see-ums. The disease causes high fever and hemorrhaging from the mouth, nose and eyes before death. Deer may go to water to cool off or drink. In northern states EHD usually kills the animal within five to 10 days. It isn't spread from deer to deer.

Baits to Take Bite of Rabies
Bluefield Daily Telegraph - bdtonline.com
05 Oct 2007
T Toler
Area: West Virginia United States

A chance encounter with a rabid raccoon Sept. 18 left four Princeton dogs quarantined and their owner footing $2,000 in expenses. It also raised the number of confirmed Mercer County rabies cases to 14 so far this year. That’s enough to put the county in an epidemic, public health officials said this week. The owner of the dogs asked her identity be withheld because her dogs are still quarantined, but she shared the details of her fight against rabies and the resulting frustration with the Princeton Times this week.

. . . Rabies was rare in West Virginia 30 years ago. Although no culprit has been located, officials suspect hunters transported rabid raccoons into Hardy County, in the belief the additional raccoon population would improve hunting conditions. In 1977, West Virginia confirmed its first case of raccoon rabies, and the state has been fighting the disease ever since, promoting pet vaccinations and attempting to stem the westward movement of the virus. While vaccinations all but eliminated rabies among domestic animals, they did nothing to stop the disease in wild animals. In 2001, the Mountain State rolled out a a multimillion-dollar baiting program in an attempt to do just that.


Invasive Weed Strangles Zambian Park

Bird Flu Virus Becoming More Dangerous: Study
*Growth of H5N1 Influenza A Viruses in the Upper Respiratory Tracts of Mice


Wildlife Middle East News
Volume 2, Issue 2

Catching Bird Flu in a Droplet [free full-text available]
Nat Med. 2007 Oct; 13(10): 1259-63
J Pipper et al.

Haematological and Biochemical Values for Grey Seal Pups (Halichoerus grypus) during Early Rehabilitation [online abstract only]
Vet Rec. 2007 Sep 29; 161(13): 447-51
JEF Barnett et al.

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